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Winning rugby world cup doesn't mean we're together

Image: Halden Krog © The Times

To live in SA as a black person is mostly to live in two separate realities. I speak of a lot of people in my immediate circles in life.

Very few people can say that they don't have family and or roots in either a village somewhere and or a township. I myself belong to ancestors who were rooted in different parts of the Limpopo province.

My father has his people in Zebediela, dinamuneng, while my mother's people lived and continue to rest in the Mashashane area.

As a result, my relatives are scattered across various townships and villages across Limpopo right until Gauteng.

The realities of the people in those places are usually those of poverty and a general sense of lack. To visit friends and family is to walk away with a deep sense of being burdened, a sense of hopelessness.

There is nothing you can do to alleviate the situation and where you can, you are limited by your own resources, which are not infinite.

So it is very difficult to swallow and accept the complacency with which some people (read white people) want to deny white privilege. In this country the mention of white people living in a shack is news that goes viral.

When you walk around with this heavy yoke it is near impossible to not talk to the racial and economical divide that is SA, to be angry and to seek a change. The ones favoured by this divide turn red at its mere mention. The unity and illusion of a rainbow nation shows up as a scam all the time.

Things get segregated very easily. There is a line we all tread - not always carefully - on designated sides of the line.

And this has been my approach to the rugby cup that has just ended - staying in my lane.

Would the Springboks win? I did not care. When the story of the captain, Siya Kolisi's humble beginnings started making the rounds, I laughed. How dare they turn him into some weird SA poverty porn. But there was already a hashtag and Siya's father was going overseas for the first time.

Was that sweet? Maybe to white people, but to me it was yet another sore reminder of how little we have as black people in this country if a trip that white kids have been going on for years is newsworthy just because it is a black person.

Then Saturday happened. I was in the car with my family and the score for SA arrived at 15 to England's 6 when I started to think that SA might actually win.

I started accelerating, much to my father's disapproval, I wanted to witness the end of the game on television. I wanted the win for Kolisi and I say so.

By the time we arrived at my friend's house I knew that it was in the bag and watching the end of the game was sweet. I was in tears. Tears of joy? Maybe. But I wept for SA. Why should it take a bunch of men running after a ball to unite us as a country?

Twitter is abuzz with jokes about Kolisi ending racism and we laugh because that is what we do in the face of discomfort.

I am tempted to get swept away in the moment and believe that we are stronger together and hashtag "I am staying". But the euphoria will leave us. Black people will be attacked getting petrol just because they are black. A criminal will get cushioned treatment because of the colour of their skin, then we will remember that besides Kolisi's dream for SA, we are not together and are far from stronger together.

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